The number of physical prototypes must be reduced to meet the challenging time and cost constraints imposed by aggressive vehicle programs. New vehicle designs, especially EVs, are far from traditional vehicle designs and must be ready to meet evolving regulations. Vehicle designers must engineer new concepts faster while proposing innovative solutions to answer e-mobility challenges. This represents a significant roadblock for design teams who must adopt new digital methodologies while meeting or exceeding performance requirements.

The introduction of battery compartments in electric vehicles requires the use of new simulation processes to predict the impact of design decisions on final product performance. The battery's impact on total vehicle weight, mass distribution, and crash response must comply with recent and rapidly evolving battery safety regulations. The need to fulfill market demand for increased EV range, without compromising passenger thermal or acoustic comfort, creates additional design considerations. Acoustic challenges arise from the need for interior sound packages to meet brand, weight, and noise comfort specifications. Accurate assessment of noise contributions from sources such as powertrain, air induction, and exhaust systems are key for the accurate prediction of interior noise.

To meet these demands, engineers must move away from traditional iterative 'design - test - fix' processes and deploy digital solutions, earlier in the design cycle, to control the risks associated with innovation. Using the most advanced simulation methodology, Virtual Prototyping, engineers can replace physical tests with virtual alternatives, speeding up the development process and anticipating potential issues earlier in their development cycle, thereby counterbalancing the risk associated with innovation.

To comply with country-specific regulations, automotive OEMs must adopt a development cycle that can accurately evaluate a design's performance quickly and adjust to new expectations as these regulations evolve.

The deployment of a Single Core Model provides a cost and time-effective means of accurately modeling different vehicle performance aspects. ESI's Virtual Performance Solution offers a uniform environment to assess and virtually qualify a design long before a single physical validation prototype is built. Challenging tests such as small overlap frontal crashes are accurately rendered, including structural deformations and fractures for newer composite or mixed materials structures and traditional steel constructions. Airbag designs can be virtually engineered, and EVs assessed for battery-critical water crossing & water intrusion tests along with battery crash simulation.

Vibro-acoustic simulation ensures that exterior and interior noise is evaluated early in the design cycle to meet pedestrian safety and exterior noise regulations. Trim variants can be analyzed in the concept phase in minutes rather than days to meet occupant acoustic comfort targets while reducing interventions late in the design cycle.

The Benefits of Full Vehicle Design

  • Avoid over-engineering by identifying the right lightweight materials from the start
  • Support removal of lead times linked to prototypes or test facilities availability, giving instantaneous global access of virtual prototypes to the entire supply chain worldwide
  • Virtually assess complex validation tests for new vehicles: water crossing, airbags, regulatory crash tests (battery, comfort, sound insulation). Unleash innovation by exploring an unlimited number of variations and then making the right trade-off between domains
  • Harness high-performance computing and multi-scale modeling to reduce calculation time, making it possible to test more variants, minimizing the inherent risks of innovative concepts
  • Enjoy a single virtual environment to run all simulations in all domains, free of time-consuming and error-inducing model conversions and data transfers between partially compatible third-party solutions

Find Out More About Virtual Prototyping in Full Vehicle Design